Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology
February 23, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Working Time:Full time
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Are you passionate about research? So are we! Come and join us

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.

Do you want to know more about LIST? Check our website: https: // www. list.lu/

Discover our Materials department: https: // www. list.lu/en/materials/

How will you contribute?

Applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – from chatbots to autonomous driving and medical diagnoses – have the potential to improve our lives in unprecedented ways. But there is a catch: they consume an immense amount of energy. At the current growth rate, by 2040 the total energy produced in the world would be devoted to AI applications (!). Hence, we obviously have an important challenge to address.

Unconventional Computing – which includes subfields such as Neuromorphic, Reservoir or Probabilistic Computing – explores new paradigms to create efficient and ultra-low-power computing components, taking advantage of the dynamical properties of complex physical systems to develop radically new approaches. For example, it has been shown that one can use a large variety of systems (from a bucket of water to noisy electronic circuits) to emulate the behaviour of a neural network that can tackle complex problems such as pattern recognition. Most excitingly, it has been recently shown that one can use the topological quasiparticles called “ skyrmions ” (search the web for amazing images!) to implement similar concepts, with the added advantage that skyrmion-based components can be powered by the naturally occurring Brownian motion of such quasiparticles. In other words: we can take advantage of the diffusion of skyrmions caused by (unavoidable) thermal fluctuations, so they act as the main (free!) power source of the device. Truly incredible.

The use of skyrmions for unconventional computing is a rapidly expanding field with amazing results being published on a monthly basis. So far, work has focused on magnetic skyrmions, which have been known for about 20 years now. By contrast, in this project we will investigate the use of electric skyrmions for Unconventional Computing, which is a brand-new possibility presenting many fundamental Physics challenges and opportunities. In electric skyrmions the magnetic spins are replaced by electric dipoles that originate from the off-set of positive and negative ions in insulators. They were predicted and experimentally demonstrated only a few years ago (see e.g. https: // als.lbl.gov/electric-dipoles-form-chiral-skyrmions/), with key contributions from simulations done at LIST. In this project we will use the same advanced simulation methods to better understand the physics of Brownian electric skyrmions and explore their use in selected Unconventional Computing applications.

be part of an exciting team of PhD candidates! The PhD student will be part of team of 11 doctoral candidates associated to the Marie S. Curie Doctoral Network TOPOCOM (https: // www. topocom.eu), which gathers some of the top European groups working on topological phases in condensed-matter systems. The students will benefit from a unique programme designed to train a group of experts on the physics of topological quasiparticles and Unconventional Computing, covering all aspects of the problem – from experiment to theory, from fundamental to applied, from magnetic to electric. The team effort and broad international exposure will rely on secondments (extended visits) of the doctoral candidates to other groups of the network, as well as on periodic TOPOCOM events that will often be linked to relevant international schools and conferences. Besides the science itself, other key aspects of today's work as a scientist – from management to communication skills – will be covered, and to a large extent tailored to the specific interest of the students.

The PhD student will be supervised by Prof. Jorge Íñiguez (https: // sites.google.com/site/jorgeiniguezresearch), an expert on the theory and simulation of nano-ferroelectrics. The student will be part of the “Ferroic Materials for Transducers” group (25-30 members) and, in particular, the theory team led by Prof. Íñiguez (6-8 members). The student will be enrolled in the doctoral programme on Physics and Materials Sciences of the University of Luxembourg (https: // www. uni.lu/research-en/doctoral- education/dsse/physics-and-materials-science/), which offers a wide range of training activities as well as a vibrant and diverse environment to young scientists.

Is Your profile described below? Are you our future colleague? Apply


We are looking for candidates who are passionate about research and excited about being part of a team of PhD students who will work a lot together. In particular, candidates with a taste for theory or computer simulation are most welcome to apply.

A master's degree in Physics, Materials Science, Applied Mathematics or a related discipline is required.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their application via the LIST web or contact Jorge Íñiguez ([email protected]) for more information.

Your LIST benefits
  • An organization with a passion for impact and strong RDI partnerships in Luxembourg and Europe that works on responsible and independent research projects
  • Sustainable by design, empowering our belief that we play an essential role in paving the way to a green society
  • Innovative infrastructures and exceptional labs occupying more than 5,000 square metres, including innovations in all that we do
  • An environment encouraging curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship in all areas
  • Personalized learning programme to foster our staff's soft and technical skills
  • Multicultural and international work environment with more than 50 nationalities represented in our workforce
  • Diverse and inclusive work environment empowering our people to fulfil their personal and professional ambitions
  • Gender-friendly environment with multiple actions to attract, develop and retain women in science
  • 32 days' paid annual leave, 11 public holidays, 13-month salary, statutory health insurance
  • Flexible working hours, home working policy and access to lunch vouchers
  • Apply online

    https: // www. list.lu/en/jobs/materials/

    Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and detailing your experience
  • A scientific CV with contact details
  • List of publications (and patents, if applicable)
  • Academic records (for both bachelor and master studies)
  • Contact details of 2 references
  • Application procedure and conditions

  • LIST is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring and retaining diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability
  • Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and select candidates based on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities
  • The main criteria for selection will be the correspondence of the existing skills and expertise of the applicant with the requirements mentioned above
  • PhD additional conditions:

  • Supervisor at LIST: Prof. Jorge Íñiguez ([email protected]
  • Work location: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg
  • PhD enrolment: University of Luxembourg, Belval, Luxembourg
  • Please note the universities costs are at the charge of the student.

    To be considered for this position it is crucial that you have knowledge of the following languages

  • Read C1 Advanced
  • Write C1 Advanced

    Speak C1 Advanced

    minimum required Education

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    0 or more years

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    Recruiter in charge

    Carolina DE LEON

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    Phd Student

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